The Herald Bulletin

April 14, 2014

Track stars prepare for numbers game

By Jason Haddix
For The Herald Bulletin

---- — Track is a numbers game, not just with times and distances, but with roster sizes as well.

Smaller schools often abandon the philosophy of competing for team titles when running against larger schools with nearly double the number of athletes. Instead they opt to push for individual wins and personal bests.

The typical powerhouses — Anderson, Lapel and Pendleton Heights — have fielded the largest rosters and will likely take many of the team titles. But the remaining schools are primed with athletes who will challenge for individual victories.

The following is a capsule look at area girls track programs as many of them prepare for Friday’s Madison County championships:

Alexandria

Coach: Scott Zent

Letterwinners lost: Kelsey Thurber, Brittany Clark, Desire Litchfield, Allie Ward, Savannah Gardner, Allie Mohler

Letterwinners returning: Kelsey Crisp, Courtney Skinner, Morgan Oliver, Alexis Crum, Maddie Thomas

Newcomers: Cailyn Vernetti, Brittany Berryman, Ann Ferris, Macy Hood, Gloria James, Carissa Johnson, Madison Moore, Olivia Morrow, Antonia Ruiz, Paula Seelig, Rebecca Waymire, Alexa Yost

Coach’s outlook: “We have a great core group of senior girls this year, then we have a group of sophomores and juniors that are looking to contribute this year as we grow into our roles and expectations. It has been a lot of work this spring understanding we need to push ourselves to a higher level. I see us being able to move to the top half of the Central Indiana Athletic Conference.”

Anderson

Coach: Linda Williams Boyd

Letterwinners lost: Aryel Ashley, Mia Bryant, Taylor Potts, Kelsi Rhodes, Samantha Roy, Darien Thompson

Letterwinners returning: Da’Sha Boyd, Marissa Childs, Joyclyn Davis, Ragine Davis, Jacie Dickerson, Shantez Goolsby, Katie Mitchell, Pearson Newsom, Lexie Pickering, Desiree Robinson, Allison Smitherman, Lauren Soares

Newcomers: Paulina Berger, Kennedy Gray, Monique Wigham, Monica Robinson, De’ja Williams, Beldad Soriano, Katia Molina, Claire Clapp, Bryesha Chamberlain, Christine Hall

Coach’s outlook: “We are a young team and rebuilding this year. We don’t really know what we are working with. We have some returning lettermen that are going to do some great things for our team in certain areas.”

Anderson Prep

Coach: Ryan Fathauer

Letterwinners lost: Alanti Kimbrough-Maxwell, Shamaris Stewart, A’niyah Birdsong

Letterwinners returning: Eliana Monaghan, Paige Hopkins, Cailtlin Plummer

Newcomers: Teresa Lopez, Grace Seybert, Chloe Dorman, Sarah McNeal

Coach’s outlook: “We lost (most) of our scoring with Alanti and Shamaris last year, but we are a lot deeper this year. Last year we only had eight or nine girls on the team, this year we are up to 16 so we will be able to fill more events.”

Daleville

Coach: David Beard

Letterwinners lost: Hannah Karkosky, Riley Huang, Abbi Wright, Lauren Irelan

Letterwinners returning: Hanna Hochstetler, Hannah McKinney, Kayla Skinner, Wesli Welch

Newcomers: Skyler Owens, Jenny Shellabarger, Madison Walker

Coach’s outlook: “I have some really good athletes. I am hoping to be competitive in all of our meets. I expect that many of our athletes will get personal bests this season.”

Frankton

Coach: Jason Smith

Letterwinners lost: Kelsey Key

Letterwinners returning: Chay Ray, Shania Ray, Lauren Thompson, Maria Villegas, Katie Quick, Lexie Bousman

Newcomers: Skye Huffman, Kenzie Spangler, Aidrey Hunt, Maddy Wilson, Madelynn Baker, Sherrie Riser

Coach’s outlook: “I think we have a little bit of talent, but we are very young and we are trying to figure out where everyone fits into the puzzle. We have an increased number of girls compared to last year. The last couple years, we have been decent in the big meets with only seven girls, but when it comes to the dual meets it’s been really difficult. Hopefully, this year we will be able to compete in both the duals and the big meets with the increased number (of girls) and the ability to score more than one person in one event.”

Lapel

Coach: Nick Clarkson

Letterwinners lost: Adrienne Jones, Prisca Sakeuh, Morgan Tarlton

Letterwinners returning: Sierra Ratzlaff, Grace Rusche, Paige Hendershot, Mandi Flora, Micah Bryan, Plenseh-Tay Sakeuh, Mackenzie Boles, Bri Miller, Lilly Ratzlaff, Brandi Miller

Newcomers: Sammi Voegele, Austin Jones

Coach’s outlook: “We’ve beefed up our coaching staff, with the addition of two experienced distance coaches, Krista Loller and Brian Gill. They have helped the distance training tremendously. Most of the girls started training right after Halloween this year and are anxiously awaiting the regular season to begin competing. Their attitudes and commitment have been excellent this year. We are all looking forward to the season.”

Madison-Grant

Coach: Brooke Justus

Letterwinners lost: Erin Peacock, Elayna Fick, Shannon Wallace, Bre Lewis

Letterwinners returning: Bethani Herniak, Sundy Mack, Jasmine Nelson, Jessica Patton, Haniah Stansberry, Halie Johnson, Jackie Sallee, Tory Galloway

Newcomers: Paige Bramel, Lavon Haney, Amanda Armstrong

Coach’s outlook: “We have some freshmen that are strong. Our inexperience these first few meets might be a hindrance, but I think once they get comfortable, the freshmen group, they are going to definitely provide some points for us. I’ve only got 15 girls, but if I can keep them healthy, we are not necessarily going to be able to compete at meets per say, but we are going to be able to compete in events. This year I have a stronger sprinter, 400 group, whereas last year I had more of the mid-distance distance streangths.”

Pendleton Heights

Coach: Melissa Hagerman

Letterwinners lost: Emma Manchess, Anna Dudley, Kelsee Werling, Valerie Taylor

Letterwinners returning: Kiawna Cottrell, Alex Buck, Micalah Booher, Monica Dudley, Elane Stephenson, Tristan VanNatta, Morgan Jacobs, Amanda Jamison, Shaelee Roy, Lexie Kisinger, Megan Blackwell, Maddi Hinton, Chelsea Blackwell

Newcomers: Alli McCarty, Emma Hall, Faith Baer

Coach’s outlook: “We have some strong events with Kiawna (Cottrell) and Alex (Buck), but we also have some weaker events, too. I think individually we are going to do really well, as a team it is kind of up in the air right now. We lost some seniors that helped us out in the sprints (last year). There are so many new girls, not just freshmen, but we have had sophomores and juniors come out. There are a lot of unknowns still. We are trying to find the right spot for the girls.”

Shenandoah

Coach: Adam Leach

Letterwinners lost: Geordyn Hudson, Ann McCambridge, Allison Crowe

Letterwinners returning: Chassey Harter, Raquel Welch, Shelby Cross, Madison Fites, Kate Graddy, Madison Hensley, Makenzie Manship

Newcomers: Macee Rudy, Michaela Mehling, Faith Smith, Bri Kinsey, Courtney Baty, Katie Cash, Molly Hensley

Coach’s outlook: “We are up on numbers this year. We have some good returners, some good talent. We are pretty deep across the board with our events. I don’t think we are going to have any above and beyond times, but we’ll have a lot of girls that are going to compete in every meet. With extras in numbers this year, we will up it a little as far as the competitive level.”

 

Spring Preview Series Today's boys track preview story is the second in a series previewing the local high school spring sports season. Look for a girls track preview in Tuesday's edition and more sports in future editions of The Herald Bulletin. Visit www.heraldbulletin.com for previous installments in the series.